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Dang $100+ for a spoke torque wrench

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So with my new bike I am trying to improve the quality of my maintenance. I installed an hour meter and I am recording what I do and when I do it and I am using a torque wrench on EVERY nut and bolt and following the service manual to a T. I'd like to do the same with the spokes but dang $100+! Only good news is once I buy it I will have it for life and use it a lot.

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I am in california and i know harbor freight has them for 40.00 i dont remember if that was sale price or not also rocky mountain atv has them for less than 100.00 but first and foremont ThumperTalk probably has them for less than that. I replaced the rims on my kx, i bought pretty green one to match the bike and we replaced the spoke and trued it w/o a spoke wrench or a truing stand. it was time consuming but i was told by a local mc atv shop that even with the right equipment its time consuming

So with my new bike I am trying to improve the quality of my maintenance. I installed an hour meter and I am recording what I do and when I do it and I am using a torque wrench on EVERY nut and bolt and following the service manual to a T. I'd like to do the same with the spokes but dang $100+! Only good news is once I buy it I will have it for life and use it a lot.

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I am in california and i know harbor freight has them for 40.00 i dont remember if that was sale price or not also rocky mountain atv has them for less than 100.00 but first and foremont ThumperTalk probably has them for less than that. I replaced the rims on my kx, i bought pretty green one to match the bike and we replaced the spoke and trued it w/o a spoke wrench or a truing stand. it was time consuming but i was told by a local mc atv shop that even with the right equipment its time consuming

For a TORQUE wrench? Not just a spoke wrench, but an actual torque wrench for spokes. Please post up the links because I would love to find one for less than $100.

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I would never ever use a Harbor Freight torque wrench.

I only use a torque wrench on key fasteners. I do use one on spokes.

On non critical fasteners, I am withing a Ft-lb or so by hand, comes with experience. You also better off with a bolt that comes loose and gets lost rather than one that breaks off or becomes stripped. Spokes must have clean threads to be accurately tightened. With a new wheel, I remove each spoke, one at a time, anti-seize the threads and torque. Amy time I think the spoke nipple is contaminated, the nipple is removed and the threads on it and the spoke properly cleaned. You must know what you are doing when tightening spokes as careless tightening will give you an untrue and out of round wheel PDQ.

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I would never ever use a Harbor Freight torque wrench.

I only use a torque wrench on key fasteners. I do use one on spokes.

On non critical fasteners, I am withing a Ft-lb or so by hand, comes with experience. You also better off with a bolt that comes loose and gets lost rather than one that breaks off or becomes stripped. Spokes must have clean threads to be accurately tightened. With a new wheel, I remove each spoke, one at a time, anti-seize the threads and torque. Amy time I think the spoke nipple is contaminated, the nipple is removed and the threads on it and the spoke properly cleaned. You must know what you are doing when tightening spokes as careless tightening will give you an untrue and out of round wheel PDQ.

If I had been a professional mechanic I would do the same. What I have noticed is that for the most part, I over tighten nuts and bolts when I use my "internal" gauge so I have decided to use the torque wrench on all fastener. Takes a bit longer but it is part of my hobby.

I think I am in a similar situation with my spokes/rims. I have tightened them by feel and sound for years and have some how managed to keep my wheels straight but I truly have no idea just how tight those spokes are.

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Good tools are never a waste of money. I've been using my Fasst Company spoke torque wrench for about 5 years now and I'll use it for many more. I like it because it's easy, fast and no guessing, maintaining 3 bikes.

http://shop.thumpertalk.com/catalogs/Western_Power_Sports_Offroad_2009/default.asp?p=947

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i don't mind guessing on spokes, but i spent years of my life building competition wheelsets for mountain and road bicycles. I don't really trust torque wrenches on spokes too much. For it to be any use, you need to lube the spoke threads from time to time or you'll get bogus readings. I just tighten them so they all sound the same.

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If I had been a professional mechanic I would do the same. What I have noticed is that for the most part, I over tighten nuts and bolts when I use my "internal" gauge so I have decided to use the torque wrench on all fastener. Takes a bit longer but it is part of my hobby.

I think I am in a similar situation with my spokes/rims. I have tightened them by feel and sound for years and have some how managed to keep my wheels straight but I truly have no idea just how tight those spokes are.

You may well be using a wrench that is too long. I use a 1/4 midget rachet and only my wrist. That tightens bolts to about 96 inch-pounds. If you have a bolt on your bike that is in good condition,is non critical (like a seat bolt) tighten with your torque wrench. Loosen with your hand. Gently tigethn with your hand, then loosen it again. You goal is to of had the effort to loosen the bolt be the same when you tightened it by hand or when you used the torque wrench. You can also check a bolt after manually tightening to see how good you did it. After a time, your hand will be nearly as accurate as a torque wrench.:busted:

Tightening spoke by 'ping' is ok assuming all spokes are clean and no debris is in the nipple and no spokes are touching one another. Really fairly hit or miss. I use the 'ping' test just to tell me to get off my lazy butt and go over my wheels.:thumbsup:

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i don't mind guessing on spokes, but i spent years of my life building competition wheelsets for mountain and road bicycles. I don't really trust torque wrenches on spokes too much. For it to be any use, you need to lube the spoke threads from time to time or you'll get bogus readings. I just tighten them so they all sound the same.

LOL, I 'hear' you though I also do not have perfect pitch. I can only tell a 'ping' from a 'punng'. Not very accurate. So I keep my nipples clean. :busted:

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You may well be using a wrench that is too long. I use a 1/4 midget rachet and only my wrist. .....

Well at least I am doing something right, when I got my new bike I put all my 1/4" tools in a special "dirt bike" box and decided that for 90% of the bike a 1/4" drive was enough.

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if im using a 3/8ths drive ratchet i will not tighted by holding the handle instead i wrap my hand around the head of the ratchet like a screwdriver.. works like a champ.. :busted: the rest of the time everything can be removed or tighted with a 1/4" set no problemo

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Tightening spoke by 'ping' is ok assuming all spokes are clean and no debris is in the nipple and no spokes are touching one another. Really fairly hit or miss. I use the 'ping' test just to tell me to get off my lazy butt and go over my wheels.:busted:

the ping imho gives you a much better idea of the actual tension on the spoke than the torque required to turn the nipple. But whatever, motorcycle wheels are incredibly durable imho, so they don't really require much attention. I spend about 20 seconds checking and tensioning spokes whenever I change a tire, and that's as much as i worry about it.

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Thanks DrThumper for the lead to a reasonably priced spoke wrench with 8 different size jaws. I just finished ordering this tool, plus a pilot air screw adjuster, all from Rocky Mountain.

Thanks,

wescnmbkr1

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LOL, I 'hear' you though I also do not have perfect pitch. I can only tell a 'ping' from a 'punng'. Not very accurate. So I keep my nipples clean. :banghead:

Agreed. Both methods can be done perfectly or can be done completely wrong. I'd prefer the torque wrench and keeping my nips clean. :cheers:

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